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Thread: New rattling and whining noise that has me worried

  1. #1

    Unhappy New rattling and whining noise that has me worried

    This is my first post so forgive me if I'm writing in the wrong place. I have a 2004 r1150r rockster with about 50,000 miles, whereas I bought it last year with 42,000. I just recently put a new bmw factory gel battery, and a new similiar but newer made starter that matches the one on it to a t and made by the same manufacturer. After I got it running (it took about a month and a half before I could get the part and battery since I was trouble shooting and did not know it was the starter that went bad) I started to notice a rattling noise accompanied with a high pitched whine. The rattling only happens when I have the bike sitting in neutral with my hand off the clutch, but goes away immediately after a very small amount of pressure on clutch. Some days, it doesn't happen, but some days it is so bad that I don't let the clutch out in neutral at all. Also, I can hear a high pitched whine that didn't used to occur, and it coincides with how high it is revving. The exhaust note also sounds slightly more rumbly; it's pretty quiet to begin with, but several of my buddies has said it sounds louder now. I've looked up a lot about similiar problems and the rattling seems to happen to a lot of these bikes, but I can tell it's getting worse and really don't want to spend money to get it checked out and nothing be wrong and I don't want to wait until it doesn't start again and have to get it towed again. Thanks for reading, and it also dies while I am riding sometimes but I don't know If that is related

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Welcome to the forum! Looks like you're in the right spot. I'm sure other owners will probably have some thoughts as to where to start looking. Good luck!
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada
    Welcome to the forum. From the sounds of your symptoms you have two problems. Noisy clutches are pretty common in airheads and oilheads. This happens when components get a bit worn and also the design of the dry clutch seems to lend itself to being noisy. When the gear box is in neutral and the clutch is disengaged all the components spin freely and if anything is worn or a tad loose due to spline wear and other factors they make a rattling type sound that goes away the moment you grab the clutch and put pressure on the pressure plate spring. This tightens it all up and noise stops.

    When you changed the starter (I assume it is a valeo replacement from EME or somesuch) did you look inside the bell housing? If so, did you take a look at the exposed part of the splines? Did you notice the amount and colour of the dust in there? These can all provide good clues to clutch and spline condition. When you see rusty looking reddish brown dust in there usually it means some fretting is happening and a proper spline lube is definitely in order. If you don't know if and when the splines were ever lubed, at 50K you are well beyond the 40K recommendation period.

    As for the bike dying randomly on you while riding there is a pretty long list of things that might cause this. Does it feel as though it starves for fuel and then dies or is it more like something suddenly disconnected and there is no spark, no fire and no go...? Was the bike temperature normal when the bike dies or was it quite hot? In any case we'd need more info to start figuring that one out. But it is not related to the clutch noise.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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